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Soundscapes of Islam

MUSC 296
Spring 2020
Section: 01  
Certificates: Muslim Studies, Muslim Studies Minor

From the melodious recitation of the Qur'an and Sufi-inspired sung poetry to popular soundtracks of religious revival and resistance, the world of Islam has generated myriad sonic expressions across its diverse historical and geocultural milieus. While recognized for its affective and transformative powers, music has also been the subject of a longstanding polemic in Islamic societies, its moral and ethical status being debated and contested. This course will survey the soundscapes and ideoscapes of Islam, exploring the manifold roles and meanings assigned to music among Muslim communities. It will examine a range of sound practices and related discourses to discover the ways in which locally distinct religious and social customs have shaped concepts of music and sonic articulations of Muslim identity. We will locate the varied and shifting attitudes toward music and musicians within the context of political censorship, colonialism, nationalism, and cosmopolitan modernity, and consider the impact of current conflicts and migratory processes on the local-global circulation of religious ideologies and sounds. Drawing from selected case studies of sacred and secular performance, we will explore the musical construction of gender, place, and architecture; the role of media in the formation of Muslim 'counterpublics'; and the mediation of aesthetic sensibilities through style. Topics covered will include: views on music within the Islamic tradition (the Qur'an and Sunna, shari'a law, theology, and Sufism); philosophies and cosmologies of music in Islam; music at the courts of Islamic rulers; religious chant and art singing in the Middle East; sound, healing, and exorcism in North Africa; ritual, devotional, and mystical practices in Central Asia; Islamic performing arts in Indonesia; Sufi world music and Muslim pop and hip-hop across Asia and Africa, and among immigrants and refugees in Europe and North America. Throughout the course, Islam will be encountered as a widely diverse spiritual and sociocultural system that has been a source and stimulus for creativity among Muslim peoples worldwide.
Credit: 1 Gen Ed Area Dept: HA MUSC
Course Format: Lecture / DiscussionGrading Mode: Graded
Level: UGRD Prerequisites: None
Fulfills a Major Requirement for: (COL)(MUSC)(MUST-MN)(REES-MN)(REES-Lang/Lit/C)
Past Enrollment Probability: 75% - 89%

Last Updated on JUN-24-2024
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